Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest post from Mark Roberge, SVP of Sales and Services at HubSpot.
Let’s get this straight: teleprospecting does not exclusively refer to cold calling. It is the process salespeople use in order to prospect a lead on the phone. Whereas cold calling can be impersonal and yield poor results, properly teleprospecting can humanize the interaction between a salesperson and a prospect through the use of helpful dialogue centered around prospect’s pain points, not the salesperson’s products. When you combine this process with an inbound sales methodology, you have a potent mix for success.
What is an inbound sales methodology?
Inbound sales requires you to transform from your traditional approach of buying lists, cold calling, and selling hard to a context-based, consultative sales process. That means you need to transform the way you target accounts, the way you prospect them, the way you connect with these prospects, and the way prospects perceive you as a salesperson.
Teleprospecting in an inbound sales process
Properly Target Your Accounts
Teleprospecting plays a role in every step of the inbound sales methodology. Before you make that call, you need to properly target your accounts. You only have so many hours in a day, so you want to make sure you are selecting the accounts that are the best fit for your company’s products or services to call. Take advantage of marketing lead intelligence combined with buyer’s context to understand your prospects’ areas of interest. Are they downloading whitepapers addressing a particular issue in your industry? Clicking on your website’s pricing page? Determine where your prospect is in the buying cycle.
Properly Prospect Your Leads
If you research your prospect effectively and leverage sales tools to monitor your communication attempts with a prospect, you’ll be much more likely to connect with them. Teleprospecting starts before that first connect call in inbound sales – the combination of voicemails and emails you leave for a prospect should reflect your expertise and willingness to help your prospects achieve their goals. This is the set-up for that connect call, during which you actually have a two-way conversation with a prospect. Make sure you incentivize them enough (“I’d like to pass on a few tips to increase your site traffic,” for example) to want to call back.
Properly Connect With Your Leads
In inbound sales, successful connects are the result of a combination of marketing intelligence, buyer’s context, external research (such as looking at their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts), and effective monitoring. Now, you are into the meat of teleprospecting: prospecting new business for your company via technology (the telephone). This is where this process can get a bad reputation and be confused with a cold call: oftentimes, the salesperson will go into an elevator pitch and completely disregard the fact that each prospect is a unique set of variables that can’t be addressed with the same playbook.
Your teleprospecting needs to be context-driven – based on what your prospect is telling you – not product-driven. If you can turn your call into a consultative process in which you are working with a prospect to help them improve their business, you are practicing effective inbound selling.
Change Your Prospects’ Perception of You
In your prospects’ minds, teleprospecting can be, and often is, lumped into the pile of old-school sales tactics (cold calling, buying lists). This is not your fault, but it is not your prospects’ faults either. They have been conditioned to respond negatively to a barrage of impersonal, pushy sales calls over the years, and so the first instinct they have is to hang up.
When you teleprospect in the context of inbound selling, you’re identifying prospects who are more likely to listen, because your product or service is a better fit. When you reach out to them via email and voicemail for a connect, you can include helpful content specific to that prospect. When you get them on the phone, you’ve already positioned yourself as a helpful consultant ready to listen and provide advice, not a traditional salesperson. Through your conversation on the phone, you can cement that positive view. Remember, people buy from people they like.
Want to Learn the Latest Teleprospecting Best-Practices from the Experts?
Join SiriusDecisions VP and and Group Director Jay Gaines, AG Salesworks COO Peter Gracey, and myself, on October 29th at 1 PM EST for our live webinar, Teleprospecting the Inbound Way.
Mark Roberge is the SVP of Sales and Services at HubSpot, a marketing software company. You can follow him at @markroberge.